Major League Baseball resumes its usual schedule after last week’s All-Star Break. On Thursday, July 20, the Detroit Tigers battle the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers don’t have much shot of making the American League Playoffs.
2017 MLB week 13 weekend preview and picks
The Royals? The 2015 World Series winners have a big shot. For KC to make it to the post-season, they must keep pace with both Cleveland and Minnesota in the AL Central Division.
Friday’s game is one of the classic rivalries in all of sports. The St. Louis Cardinals head to Wrigley Field to battle the Chicago Cubs. Both squads are chasing the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. The weekend series between the Cubs and Cards is important.
On Saturday, the New York Yankees battle the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees are 4 to 5 games behind Boston for the lead in the AL East. New York can’t take any days off. Boston won’t.
I finish up the weekend with a battle between the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks. It should be an exceptional matchup since the Nats are scheduled to start Stephen Strasburg. Arizona is scheduled to counter with Robbie Ray.
Check out my 2017 MLB Week 13 Weekend Preview!
Thursday, July 20
Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals
Detroit has scheduled ace Michael Fulmer to start their Thursday game versus the KC Royals. Fulmer has a 3.06 ERA, a 10-6 record and a 1.07 WHIP. Historically, Fulmer’s been just okay versus Kansas City. The Royals bat .250 versus Detroit’s ace.
Kansas City has 28 hits from 112 at-bats versus Fulmer. 2 of the hits went for home runs. They’ve struck out 24 times from those 112 at-bats.
The Royals are scheduled to start Danny Duffy. Duffy’s overall numbers aren’t bad. He has a 3.51 ERA. His record is 5-6. His WHIP is 1.25. Detroit bats .249 versus Duffy. They’ve faced Duffy 205 times. From the 205 at-bats, the Tigers have 51 hits. 9 of the 51 hits went for home runs.
Duffy has struck out 52 of the 205 Detroit batters he’s faced. J.D. Martinez bats .136 against Danny Duffy. Miguel Cabrera bats .219 versus Duffy. Duffy faces Detroit for the first time this season.
Fulmer pitched against KC on June 29. He was brilliant on that day. He allowed only 2 earned runs off 7 hits. He pitched 8.2 innings. He struck out 7. Can Fulmer repeat his brilliance versus the Royals on July 20?
I believe so. One of the reasons why is because Danny Duffy has had a great start, bad start, pattern in his last 4. Duff’s coming up to a bad start this Thursday.
Michael Fulmer has a fantastic 2.25 away ERA. His away era is better than his home ERA. I believe the Tigers beat KC by at least 2 runs on Thursday.
Pick: Detroit Tigers run line
Friday, July 21
St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
Home team Chicago sends Jake Arrieta to the mound. In no way has Arrieta dominated batters this season. Arrieta has a 4.17 ERA to go along with a 1.29 WHIP. His record is only 9-7. Jake won’t be part of the Cy Young discussion in 2017.
St. Louis counters Arrieta with one of their top pitchers, Carlos Martinez. Martinez has a 3.36 ERA, a 6-8 record, and a 1.14 WHIP. Martinez holds the Chicago Cubs to a .249 batting average. The Cubs have 42 hits from 169 at-bats against Martinez.
Arrieta always pitches well against the rival St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards only bat .220 versus Jake Arrieta. Arrieta has allowed 36 hits from 164 Cardinals’ at-bats. Arrieta’s given up 4 home runs while striking out 45 of those 164 St. Louis batters.
This should be a dynamite match up. Carlos Martinez last faced the Chicago Cubs on May 13. Martinez held the Cubs to 3 earned runs off 5 hits. He struck out 7 and pitched 6.2 innings.
But, Martinez hasn’t been that sharp in his recent starts. On July 2, Carlos only lasted 5 innings. He gave up 5 earned runs off 7 hits. The Nats beat the Cards 7 to 2. In his very next start, again, Martinez only lasted 5 innings. Once again, he allowed 5 earned runs off 7 hits. The Cardinals lost 5 to 6.
Martinez pitched much better in his last start before this week. He threw for 7 innings, allowed only 2 earned runs, and gave up only 5 hits. But, St. Louis still lost. The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cards 4 to 3.
Jake Arrieta has been up and down all season long. Lately, he’s been more up than down. Arrieta pitched 6.2 strong innings versus Baltimore on July 15. He yielded 1 earned run off 4 hits. He struck out 3.
Arrieta should be in control on Friday. I believe he’s in control enough for the Chicago Cubs to take it to the St. Louis Cardinals. I like the Cubs to beat the Cards by at least 2 runs on Friday.
Pick: Chicago Cubs run line
Saturday, July 22
New York Yankees at Seattle Mariners
Masahiro Tanaka, the New York Yankees’ listed starter for July 22, might be coming around to his best form. The Yankees count on Tanaka to be their ace. This season it hasn’t turned out that way. Tanaka has a terrible 5.33 ERA. His WHIP is a bad 1.35. His record is 7 and 9.
Versus Seattle, though, Tanaka has been great. In 69 at-bats against Masahiro, the Mariners only have 12 hits. Seattle bats .174 versus Masahiro Tanaka.
Seattle counters Tanaka with one of their better starting pitchers, Ariel Miranda. Although Miranda’s ERA is 4.15, his WHIP is fantastic. Miranda’s WHIP is only 1.15. His record is a decent 7 and 4.
Ariel Miranda has never faced the New York Yankees. Should that give him an advantage? Maybe. Then again, Aaron Judge, who’s on his way to the AL MVP, can hit against any pitcher in baseball.
The key in this matchup is how well Tanaka pitches. Tanaka hasn’t thrown badly in 3 out of his last 4 starts. He held Toronto to 1 run off 5 hits in 7 innings on July 3. In his last, against Boston on July 16, he yielded 3 earned runs off 8 hits in 7.2 innings pitched. The Yankees lost, but giving up only 3 earned runs to a batting lineup like what Boston sends to the field is pretty good.
I think Tanaka’s form, like David Prices in Boston, is coming around. I like the New York Yankees on the moneyline.
Pick: New York Yankees moneyline.
Sunday, July 23
Washington Nationals at Arizona Diamondbacks
The Washington Nationals are scheduled to start pitcher Stephen Strasburg in their Sunday matchup against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Strasburg has had a nice season. His record is 10-3. His ERA is 3.31. His WHIP is 1.10. Stras has struck out 139 batters in only 119.2 innings pitched.
Arizona counters with their flamethrower, Robbie Ray. Ray has struck out 141 batters in only 106 innings pitched. His ERA is 2.97. His WHIP is 1.22. Ray’s won 8 games while he’s only lost 4.
This an interesting matchup. Although both Robbie Ray and Stephen Strasburg are pitching lights out this season, neither is good against their July 23 opponent.
Washington bats a ridiculous .290 against Robbie Ray. The Nats have 20 hits, 4 being home runs, from 69 at-bats versus Ray.
Stras doesn’t pitch much better against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D’Backs hit .284 versus Stephen Strasburg. Arizona has 2 home runs from 23 hits in 81 at-bats versus Stras.
Which team is the pick in this game on July 23? I’m going with Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals. Robbie Ray is a terrific pitcher. But, he still hasn’t found a way to come up with his best stuff at home. Ray’s home ERA is a less than stellar 4.64. His record at Chase Field is 4-3.
I like Washington to run Ray off the mound early. I’ll go with the Nats on the moneyline.
Pick: Washington Nationals moneyline